NEW YORK (CNN) — Major League Baseball said Monday that it is suspending New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez for 211 regular season games through the 2014 season amid allegations involving the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Twelve other Major League Baseball players have accepted 50-game suspensions without pay in connection to an investigation of performance-enhancing drug use, the league said.
The players are:
Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Antonio Bastardo
San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera
New York Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli
Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz
Padres pitcher Fautino De Los Santos
Houston Astros pitcher Sergio Escalona
Yankees outfielder Fernando Martinez
Seattle Mariners catcher Jesus Montero
Free agent pitcher Jordan Norberto
Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta
New York Mets outfielder Cesar Puello
Mets infielder/outfielder Jordany Valdespin
Major League Baseball was negotiating with the 38-year-old Rodriguez last week about a deal for a lengthy suspension rather than a lifetime ban over the Biogenesis scandal, according to several outlets.
A-Rod is accused of having ties to the now-shuttered Biogenesis anti-aging clinic in south Florida and taking performance-enhancing drugs. He has denied the accusation.
The Biogenesis scandal has already ensnared one star: 2011 National League MVP and Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun.
Last month, Braun was suspended without pay for the rest of this season for violating the league’s drug policy, baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced.
Rodriguez has missed the entire 2013 season so far after undergoing hip surgery, and he told reporters Saturday he plans to rejoin his teammates for Monday night’s game in Chicago against the White Sox.
Rodriguez played several games with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders while rehabbing from surgery.
Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said he’s ready to put Rodriguez in Monday’s lineup.
“If he’s in there, I’m going to play him,” Girardi told reporters Sunday night.
Rodriguez and the league may be in for a lengthy legal fight, said CNN’s sports reporter Rachel Nichols.
Usually, suspensions related to drug offenses are made under the players’ collective bargaining agreement, allowing suspended players to keep playing while their cases are being appealed.
“That’s probably not going to be the case with A-Rod,” Nichols said. “We’re expecting him to be suspended under the commissioner’s powers, which means that he would not be able to play while he’s doing an appeal, which is why the court system might get involved.”
Rodriguez is considered one of the game’s greatest sluggers. He has 647 home runs — the fifth most ever — in 19 seasons.
In 2009, he had an outstanding postseason in helping the Yankees win their most recent World Series title.
He holds the largest contract ever in American sports, signing with the Yankees in 2007 for $275 million over 10 years.
Rodriguez said Friday he believes his contract makes him an attractive target for a baseball ban or suspension.
“There’s more than one party that benefits from me not ever stepping back on the field — and that’s not my teammates and it’s not the Yankees fans,” he said.